Recently my family enjoyed a delicious dinner at one of Madison, Wisconsin’s oldest restaurants: The Stamm House. The limestone and wood restaurant on Madison’s west-side was built in 1847 to serve as a stagecoach stop for weary travelers journeying from the Wisconsin state capital. The restaurant’s second floor, now seating area, then was a large partitioned room in which travelers slept the night. Below floorboards of the ground floor, in an oval, limestone-walled, storage space, different travelers rested during the day before they continued their night passage along our country’s famous Underground Railroad. This small room was refuge to groups of run-away slaves. A large hole, cut into the limestone, opened to a tunnel through which these fugitives could flee to the Pheasant Branch creek should pursuing mercenaries and their dogs come too closely.

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